The Red Cross also fundraises for money "for" a particular crisis, but the money they raise does not go "to" that crisis. All donated money goes into a general fund, and is not earmarked for any particular purpose. (This is why so little of the vast sums of money raised "for" Haiti after the earthquake actually ended up in Haiti. The Red Cross regards every catastrophe as a fundraising opportunity, but feels no obligation to make payouts proportional to the money raised "for" any particular catastrophe.)
Also, it is always better to donate blood to your local blood bank on a regular basis than to participate in Red Cross mass blood drives whenever there's a disaster. The Red Cross doesn't actually give any of that blood to victims of the disaster they are collecting blood "for"--they just sell the donated blood they collect, and use that money to reduce the portion of monetary donations that goes to overhead, so that they look better.
Most of what the Red Cross does is take donated blood and sell it to health care providers. Of the more than $3 billion that the Red Cross spent last year, two-thirds was spent not on disaster relief but rather on the group's blood business.
The charity spent $2.2 billion on the blood business, most of which went to employee wages and benefits. By contrast, the charity spent $467 million, or 14 percent of total spending, on its famous domestic disaster response programs, including the expensive Sandy relief effort.
Nonprofit experts say that in combining the blood business spending with disaster relief spending, the Red Cross is painting a confusing picture of its operations for donors.
"It probably has the effect of making the Red Cross look better than it actually is," says Jack Siegel, a lawyer who runs the consulting firm Charity Governance.
If the Red Cross split its blood business from the rest of the charity, "their ratios would look worse. So they don't want to do that," says Borochoff of CharityWatch.
I hate that the Red Cross is so problematical, because I will probably need their services myself someday, and I would like to support them, but...nope, too many red flags. No pun intended. I donate elsewhere.